3 players who could be the Dodgers’ next Max Muncy
By Adam Weinrib
1. Greg Bird
Other than the fact that he’s already turned 29, minor-league free agent Greg Bird would be the absolute perfect target for the Dodgers to take a flyer on at first base.
All through the minors, Bird’s patience and surprising pop were his calling cards; his 2013 season at Single-A Charleston stands out, as he hit .288 with a .420 OBP and 20 bombs. With the Yankees, his impact was immediate. Bird helped the 2015 Yankees close out the season with 11 homers in 46 games.
Unfortunately, as the injuries piled up (and piled up, and piled up…), his bat began to surprisingly lose speed, leading to an unholy and unforeseen amount of swing-and-miss. Suddenly, Bird was late on fastballs in the zone. He struck out 78 times in 272 at-bats in 2018, and never hit above .200 again in partial seasons in New York from 2017-2019 (though his pop came back in the 2017 ALDS against Andrew Miller).
Finally, the Yankees cut bait before the 2020 season, giving Bird a chance to hook on with the Texas Rangers — a team for which he never played, thanks once again to the famous COVID-19 pandemic.
When Bird actually returned in 2021 with the Colorado Rockies’ Triple-A affiliate, the Albuquerque Isotopes, he looked like … well, the guy the Yankees thought they might have back in 2015. 27 homers, 91 bombs, a .267 average, a .362 OBP, and — perhaps most importantly — 112 games played all add up to a successful season, even in the hitter-happy PCL.
At season’s end, the Rockies did not make room for Bird, though, leaving the Dodgers in line to reap the spoils from their division rival.